Two years after passing up the opportunity to draft Robert Griffin III, the St. Louis Rams are doubling down on their Sam Bradford bet.
Amid conflicting reports on the organization's willingness to extend Bradford's contract, coach Jeff Fisher made it clear on Tuesday's edition of ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" that Bradford's job is safe even with a scheduled $17.6 million salary-cap figure in 2014.
"We talk about extensions with all our players under contract," Fisher said. "Whether or not we do so with him, I don't know where all this came from, but Sam's our quarterback. He's going to be under center."
Fisher added that Bradford took on a leadership role last season and is "doing great" in his rehab from ACL surgery.
The head coach's support echoes that of general manager Les Snead, who said last month that he would not entertain the idea of drafting a quarterback at No. 2 overall.
Given the choice of Johnny Manziel and $7 million in salary-cap space versus Bradford and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the ATL crew unanimously voted to open Door No. 1.
Bradford entered the 2013 season as perhaps the NFL's most enigmatic quarterback. Although he padded his numbers in a pair of blowouts, it's not a stretch to posit that he's now a known mediocrity after four seasons in the league.
With an 18-30-1 record, a 58.6 completion percentage, 6.3 yards per attempt, a 79.3 pass rating and shaky pocket presence, Bradford has been more of a problem than a solution.
Considering the struggles of Tom Brady and Robert Griffin III early in their returns from knee reconstruction, Bradford can't be expected to suddenly start playing like a top-15 NFL quarterback in 2014.
Regardless of Bradford's pedestrian results to date, this team's brass is determined to sink or swim with their $78 million investment. We soon will find out how long they can keep treading water.
The latest "Around The League Podcast" discusses controversial draft prospects Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney and reviews the offseason forecasts for the St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers.**